Three Women of Troy Shine On In The NWSL
June 12, 2014
A two-time Olympic gold medalist and forward for the U.S. Women's National Team, Amy Rodriguez was recently acquired by FC Kansas City in a trade with FC Seattle Reign. With her first season in Kansas City underway, Rodriguez has already started and played in 12 games, and is currently the second leading scorer in the league with an impressive nine goals to date.
In 2008, Rodriguez capped her legacy at USC as the No. 4 all-time scorer, having been a key part the program's first NCAA Championship in 2007. Rodriguez was drafted by the Boston Breakers as the first overall pick in the 2009 Women's Professional Soccer Draft. Following her first season in the then-WPS, Rodriguez was traded to the Philadelphia Independence, where she led the team in scoring with 12 goals and six assists and was named to the WPS Best XI.
For the NWSL's inaugural season in 2013 Rodriguez was allocated to the Seattle Reign, sat out that season due to pregnancy. She and husband Adam Shilling -- also an NCAA Champion as a member of the USC men's water polo team -- welcomed Adam to the world last year, and Rodriguez has since returned to the pitch as a pro and back with Team USA. Rodriguez has played in the 2011 Women's World Cup, two Youth Women's World Cups, and the Beijing and London Olympic games.
Another member of USC's 2007 National Championship team, Ashley Nick begins 2014 with her second season as a member of the Sky Blue FC. As a late addition to the 2013 NWSL season following a stellar performance as a pro in Europe, Nick appeared in three games with two starts after being added to the roster just before the playoffs began. Already into the 2014 season, Nick has appeared in 12 games with nine starts and one goal against the Boston Breakers.
An All-American and two-time All-Pac-12 First Team honoree, Nick graduated from USC in 2009 and was drafted by the Boston Breakers, only to be released before the then-WPS season began. Nick then made the move to the Netherlands, where she was named team captain of FC Twente. In the Netherlands she led her team to the Dutch League Championship and was named team MVP before moving her talents to Norway to help win a bronze medal in the Norwegian League. Upon returning to Southern California, Nick joined the Pali Blues in 2012 and received the title of MVP for the W-League Tournament, before she was officially signed by Sky Blue FC in August.
The newest Trojan to turn pro is Samantha Johnson, a native of Palmdale, Calif., who became one of two trialists signed by the Chicago Red Stars in the Spring of 2014. Johnson has begun her first season in the NWSL with 10 game appearances, nine starts and one assist for the Red Stars. As a starting senior forward for the Trojans, Johnson earned an All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention and Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors in the 2012 season. During her four years at USC, Johnson appeared in a total of 80 games, with 63 starts and 37 total career points.
To follow Johnson, Rodriguez and Nick and their teams as the NWSL season continues to heat up, visit www.nwslsoccer.com.